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The Frog Lake Massacre was a Cree uprising during the North-West Rebellion. Led by Wandering Spirit, young Cree warriors attacked the village of Frog Lake, Albertamarker on April 2, 1885, where they killed most of the settlers.

Angered by what seemed to be unfair treaties by the Canadianmarker government and the dwindling buffalo population, the main source of food for the indigenous people, chief Big Bear had been organizing the Cree for resistance. They were encouraged by the Métis victory at the Battle of Duck Lake.

Against Big Bear's opposition, the war chief Wandering Spirit attacked white settlers in the village. He gathered the Europeans, including two priests, into the local Catholic church. After a disagreement broke out, Wandering Spirit led the Cree in killing Thomas Quinn, the town's Indian Agent, and massacring nine other settlers. They took three as captives. William Bleasdell Cameron (a Hudson’s Bay Company employee) and two women, Theresa Gowanlock and Theresa Delaney, were the only whites who survived.

The massacre prompted the Canadianmarker government to take notice of the growing unrest in Western Canadamarker. The rebellion was put down. Wandering Spirit and five other warriors responsible for the Frog Lake Massacre, were convicted and hanged. The warriors hanged were: Wandering Spirit, Round the Sky, Bad Arrow, Miserable Man, Iron Body, Little Bear, Crooked Leg and Man Without Blood. Although Big Bear had opposed the attack he was charged with treason because of his efforts to organize resistance among the Cree. He was convicted and sentenced to three years in Stony Mountain prison.

Legacy

In the spring of 2008, Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Christine Tell proclaimed in Duck lake, that "the 125th commemoration, in 2010, of the 1885 Northwest Resistance is an excellent opportunity to tell the story of the prairie Métis and First Nations peoples' struggle with Government forces and how it has shaped Canada today."

Frog Lake Massacre National Historic Site of Canada, at Frog Lake, Alberta, is the location of the Cree uprising which occurred in the District of Saskatchewan, North-West Territories.

See also



References

  1. Robert E. Gard, "Massacre at Frog Lake", University of Alberta Libraries, response by W.B. Cameron to "Massacre at Frog Lake", Edmonton Journal, 4 Apr 1939, accessed 2 Aug 2009
  2. Robert E. Gard, "Massacre at Frog Lake", University of Alberta Libraries, response by W.B. Cameron to "Massacre at Frog Lake", Edmonton Journal, 4 Apr 1939, accessed 2 Aug 2009


Further reading

  • Cameron, W. B. (1926). The war trail of Big Bear (London : Duckworth). This work was published in three editions 1926-1930, and a revised edition was published in 1950 as Blood red the sun (Calgary : Kenway Pub. Co., 1950).


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